Tonight in HD: February 19

Sky Movies Premieres: 127 Hours (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) This gruelling I-shouldn’t-be-alive dramatisation barely runs two hours but exhaustively conveys the agony, despair and desperation that extreme hiker Aron Ralston must have felt while trapped for nearly six days deep in a canyon crevice with his arm pinned by a boulder. The nightmarish scenario and unthinkable resolution will have all but the staunch squirming. Although there’s little else to the story, other than a warning to adventurers whose sense of invincibility overwhelms their commonsense, its telling is a triumph of filmmaking. Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) directs James Franco. ✭✭✭✭

SoHo Highlight: Hell on Wheels (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) Durant’s answer to the railroad’s latest financial problems spurs a bare-knuckle brawl between Cullen and Elam. Said The AV Club: "My favourite thing in tonight’s episode is a shot of Cullen Bohannon, bare-chested and drenched in blood and sweat, lying in the dirt and regaining consciousness to find himself face to face with a chicken that is curiously eyeballing his sorry carcass. Given its period setting, Hell On Wheels really ought to be good for three or four images as magnificently, inexplicably bizarre as that every week." ✭✭✭✭

Hellcats (TV2, 4.00) Vanessa and Red are shocked to find that Red’s ex-wife, Emily, has been hired to dig up dirt on Lancer’s athletics. ✭✭✭

Pretty Little Liars (TV2, 5.30) On the eve of many “goodbyes,” Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer must come to terms with being kept apart; Ezra begs Aria to meet him so they can work things out. Will she? ✭✭✭

The War at Home (TV2, 6.30, R) Dave and Vicky try to teach Hilary it’s what’s on the inside that counts when Hilary asks to get breast implants. ✭✭✭

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Grown-Ups (TV One, 7.00) Series premiere: Nigel Latta explores the complexities, frustration and disillusionment of adult life. ✭✭✭✭

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 7.00, R) Leonard volunteers to sign for a package, hoping to make a good impression on Penny, but when he involves his obsessive-compulsive roommate, Leonard sees his attempt at chivalry go horribly awry. ✭✭✭✭

Mike & Molly (TV2, 7.30) Mike’s mum, Peggy, is in for a big surprise when she celebrates her boyfriend Dennis’ birthday. ✭✭✭

The Big C (TV3, 9.30, 5.1) Cathy and Paul experience frustrations in bed and with the help of their new house mate Andrea, realise they need to set some patient-caregiver limits. ✭✭

Desperate Housewives (TV2, 11.10, R) Another chance to see Desperate Housewives: The Final season from the start. Feelings of guilt over the murder of Gaby’s evil stepfather begin to overcome everyone involved in different ways, and life on Wisteria Lane may never be the same. ✭✭

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